Investing In Geothermal Heating And Cooling: Sustainable Solutions For Las Vegas – What is a geothermal heat pump? Geothermal heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that use the ground as an energy source. Geothermal heat pumps got their name because “geo” means “earth” and “thermal” means “heat”. Geothermal heat pumps are also called ground source heat pump, GeoExchange, ground coupled water source heat pumps which are considered to be highly efficient renewable energy technology. They are used for water heating, space heating and cooling. Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems The benefits of geothermal heat pump systems include: Lower operating costs than other systems. Unlike any conventional heating and cooling system, your geothermal heat pump will save you 30-60 percent on heating and 20-50 percent on cooling. Uses clean, renewable energy (solar). There is no combustion anywhere in a geothermal heat pump, so there is no emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or even other greenhouse gases. Can be installed in retrofit situations and new builds. However, retrofit situations are more expensive. It is quieter than other cooling systems. No compressor or fan for very noisy outdoors. The indoor unit is silent and you won’t even know it’s on. Low maintenance and long life. The system requires minimal maintenance as it has only limited moving parts and is protected from external elements. Internal components usually last about 25 years, and for the ground loop more than 50 years. Types of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Below are some types of geothermal heat pump systems. Closed Loop Systems Closed loop systems are the most common and use underground pipes filled with a heat transfer fluid. Most closed-loop geothermal heat pumps buried in the ground or submerged in water circulate an antifreeze solution through a closed circuit. The heat is transferred between the coolant in the heat pump and the antifreeze solution in the closed circuit through a heat exchanger. Direct exchange is a closed loop system that does not use a heat exchanger. Instead, it pumps the refrigerant through a copper tube buried in the ground in a vertical or horizontal configuration. Horizontal Installation of a horizontal system costs less and is generally used when a large plot of land is available. It can be installed as deep as six feet into the ground. Some of the more common plans use either two pipes, one buried six feet and the other four feet, or two pipes placed side by side in a two-foot-wide trench five feet high in the ground. Vertical A vertical system requires more excavation, but can be installed where space is limited, such as schools or large commercial buildings. A vertical system is also advisable for soils too shallow for trenching, thus minimizing disturbance to existing landscaping. For the vertical system, holes are spaced approximately 20 feet apart and are between 100 and 400 feet deep. Pond-Lake A pond or lake system uses a submerged loop. To protect the pipes from freezing, the water should be at least 20 feet deep and the bottom of the loop should be about 20 feet below the surface of the pond or lake. A water source that meets the minimum volume, quality, and depth requirements is where the coil should be placed. Open-loop systems Open-loop systems are most often used in areas with abundant groundwater. A well or surface casing is used as a heat exchange fluid that circulates directly through a geothermal heat pump system. Water is pumped from the well and passes through a heat pump system before being returned to the same aquifer through the discharge well. Hybrid systems Hybrid systems use different geothermal resources or a combination of geothermal resources with open air. Hybrid approaches are particularly effective when cooling needs are significantly greater than heating needs. The most common combination is a geothermal heat pump with an absorption chiller. An absorption chiller uses a heat source to drive the cooling process instead of using electricity like conventional vapor-compression chillers. Another option is solar panels that can be used with geothermal heat pump systems that provide both heating and cooling for the building. Geothermal heat pump installation Geothermal heat pump installers must be experienced and certified. Proper installation of pipelines requires special technical knowledge and equipment. The process of installing a geothermal heat pump system is similar to that of a conventional HVAC system. The main difference is the loop area, which can be installed in different ways depending on the type of system. Using and Maintaining Geothermal Heat Pumps Proper maintenance is key to keeping your heat pump running efficiently. In return, a well-maintained heat pump reduces your energy costs and increases the life of the heat pump. The most basic maintenance tasks are keeping the loop area clean and free of debris and checking the internal air regulator regularly. Also, run the system on the “auto” fan setting on the thermostat and consider installing a multi-stage programmable thermostat suitable for the heat pump. So it’s best to have your heat pump professionally serviced at least every year. Here’s what a technician can do: Advantages of Geothermal Heat Pumps The most important advantage of a geothermal heat pump system is: Although they are quite expensive to install, they are less cost effective than conventional systems. The cost of a geothermal heat pump ranges from $2,500 per ton, so the average three-ton installation would be $7,500, compared to $4,000 for traditional air conditioners. However, these systems can save energy by 40-70 percent annually. Compared to traditional air conditioning systems, they are more durable and have a lifespan of about 50 years. They don’t necessarily require maintenance or minor repairs, but they are usually guaranteed to last 25 to 50 years. They are not noisy. These systems do not have combustion and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, making them environmentally friendly. Thus, they reduce the emission of gases by the amount of 750 trees reduced. Since all systems are underground and the pipes are buried, they do not cause aesthetic degradation to the exterior of the houses. They were used to cool or heat water with the use of de-superheaters. It is also used for underfloor heating or used as a solar floor covering. They use ducts to retain moisture and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Key Takeaways A geothermal heat pump is a type of heating and cooling system that uses the constant temperature of the ground to provide cooling, heating and hot water to a home or office building. There are four main types of geothermal heat pump systems: closed loop, horizontal, vertical, and pond/lake. The process of installing a geothermal heat pump system is similar to that of a conventional HVAC system. Proper operation and maintenance of a geothermal heat pump system is critical to its efficiency and longevity. Advantages of geothermal heat pumps include lower energy costs, increased comfort levels, longer equipment life and reduced maintenance requirements. Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is a geothermal heat pump? Geothermal heat pump, also called ground source heat pump, GeoExchange, ground coupled water source heat pump, which is considered to be an extremely efficient renewable energy technology. Water is used for heating, room heating and cooling. It also aims to transfer existing heat in your home from the ground. 2. How do geothermal systems work? A geothermal system consists of a heat pump, an underground loop system and a heater. Heat is transferred from the ground to the building in winter and from the building to the ground in summer by means of a heat pump. 3. What are the advantages of geothermal systems? Advantages of geothermal heat pump systems include lower energy costs, increased comfort levels, longer equipment life and reduced maintenance requirements. 4. Do geothermal heat pumps use electricity? Absolutely, yes. In the event of a power outage, they will not function unless there is a backup generator or battery storage system. 5. How long do geothermal heat pumps work? Typically, geothermal heat lasts 20-25 years.

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Investing In Geothermal Heating And Cooling: Sustainable Solutions For Las Vegas

Investing In Geothermal Heating And Cooling: Sustainable Solutions For Las Vegas

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